December 10, 2012

A Niebuhrian on the World Stage

John Carlson, Religion & Politics

Three years ago today, President Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize. The awkward contexts of 2009 that accompanied, if not overshadowed, the award and his Nobel address are worth recalling. The Nobel Committee had announced “the world’s most prestigious prize” just eight months into the president’s first term of office in spite of his admittedly “slight” accomplishments, to use his words. Then, a few months later, the Nobel Committee conferred the Peace Prize only days after Obama announced he was escalating the war in Afghanistan, ordering a surge of 20,000 additional troops. Given such ironies, it’s easy now to overlook this early chapter in Obama’s tenure. That, however, would be a mistake.

President Obama’s...

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TAGGED: Foreign Policy, Barack Obama, Reinhold Niebuhr

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